Workshop on Public Appointments

Do you know what a public appointment is?  Have you ever thought about applying for one but were put off because you didn’t have enough information?  Do you find terms like ‘public body’ and ‘quango’ confusing/unclear? Here in the office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments we are happy to share our knowledge and experience with you. One of our ways of doing so is to run free workshops explaining about public appointments and how to apply for one. On this page you will find information about our workshops and how to access one.  

Public bodies are organisations that play a central role in our public administration in Northern Ireland. They are responsible for the delivery of most of our essential public services benefiting the communities they serve. Some also play a key role in advising central government in the development of public policy. There are 114 public bodies in Northern Ireland covering the full range of government activity including in the area of the arts, education, health, transport, justice, the environment, economic investment and sport.

A public body is governed by its own Board of Directors.  These Directors are members of the public who have been selected to serve following an open, transparent, competitive public appointment process based on the principle of merit.

The Commissioner for Public Appointments is responsible for regulating appointments to the Boards of our public bodies and ensuring that the process is fair and transparent. She is keen to encourage a wider and more diverse pool of people to put themselves forward to serve on the Boards of our public bodies.  Evidence shows that the most successful Boards embrace a range of different perspectives and opinions.

To help raise awareness of the role of public bodies and to help demystify the appointments process the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments hosts free, half day workshops whose purpose is to explain:

  • What a public appointment entails and why you should consider applying.
  • The types of public bodies currently in existence.
  • The merit principle and how the process of appointing people to these bodies works in practice.
  • How to complete an application and what you can expect from the process.
  • How long the process takes and who makes the final decisions.

Our workshops are relaxed, informal affairs delivered by speakers with a detailed knowledge and experience of the public appointments process.

If you are interested in attending a workshop you can register your interest by contacting us by e-mail at or by telephone on 028 9052 4820.  You can see what previous attendees had to say on our workshop testimonials.

The date of the next workshop is :

Tuesday 9 July 2024 09.45am - 12.30pm apprx

Workshops are normally held in the NICSSA Pavilion at the following address.

The Pavilion
Stormont Estate


If you would like to discuss holding a workshop in your area please contact us.